GCBR Micro Fund Oceans Research Foundation Grant

Jun 2, 2020 | Micro Fund


Submitted 31st May 2020

STC OVERVIEW 2020 February 1st – May 31st 2020

Oceans Research Foundation has received funds from Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR) to support two learners participating in the ‘Sea the Change’ education and work readiness program in 2020.

The program assists underprivileged schools in Mossel Bay, Western Cape, engaging with learners, providing them with hands-on- experience to enhance employability in the marine sector, through field work and mentoring by dedicated professionals. The ultimate aim is entry level marine related employment or tertiary education enrolment.

The ‘Sea the Change’ program is led by Sophuumela Qoma, a genuinely enthusiastic educator.

Sophu has fluency in Xhosa, English and Afrikaans, with a Nature Conservation Diploma from Nelson Mandela University and a previous intern of Oceans Research. Sophu captivates and engages everyone into action – to be the change!

Learners are chosen for the program after a battery of assessments; benchmarking attitudes and observing behaviour to assess resilience, deduction and influencing capacity.

It is a transformational program working towards Grade 12 Matric and application for tertiary education or employment. We mentor learners, to acquire soft-skills, building character and confidence, plus steer them towards attaining qualifications in Life-saving, First-Aid, Boat Seamanship and Marine Awareness.

1.“Sea the Change” (STC) Community Outreach

The ‘Sea the Change’ learners also participate in our ‘Sea 2 U’ community awareness program. Reaching out to the next generation to care about the ocean and the environment through Primary School visits and fun interaction in community halls and libraries in townships in Mossel Bay.

The previously disadvantaged High School students, do not have access to computers at school.

Oceans Research provides Laptops and software to assist develop computer literacy skills. The guidance with planning and formatting outreach material through the STC program, also gives learners a deeper meaning of environmental awareness. Learners not only benefit from using

the information technology, but build presentation skills and confidence – vital for work readiness.

The positive social development educational programs target youngsters from an early age, highlighting topics such as “Why the ocean is important?” to understanding the importance of recycling plastic waste.

The program has reached 650 learners in primary schools and community citizens, through Oceans Research outreach engagement, since January 2020.

2. ‘Sea the Change” Log frame of activity

The program was piloted in 2019, with Indwe High School learners (Amahle Fanela, Endinako Msindo, Sinalo Ntanduluka and Sinalo Dywu pictured below). The learners have now progressed to STC Year 2.

In January 2020, selection was undertaken at Indwe and SOA Bras High Schools. The STC program kicked off with 6 “fast track” SOA Bras and 2 Indwe High School learners, sponsored by GCBR.

The Indwe students were so keen to join the program this year, they persistently called Sophu to make sure interviews and talks were scheduled. What was evident in the selection process, was an acute lack of personal awareness (not sure how to articulate their strengths and weaknesses) and little confidence in an interview session.

Their hobbies gave us some insight into hidden talents that would help them succeed and be good environmental influencers in their communities. Chulumanco hobbies include hip hop and drama and Emihle is in the soccer and rugby team. The selection panel felt the two chosen would really benefit from the mentorship and skill development and we would “Sea the Change” thanks to your sponsorship.

Table 1: Shows STC Breakdown of Program per STC year group and activity undertaken

Jan – May 31st

STC Year 1 (GD 11)

STC Year 2 (GD 12)

STC ‘’Fast Track”


8 sessions

Marine Conservation

topics listed below:-

4 sessions

1 Session

3 Sessions

Importance of the Ocean



Shark Conservation


Plastic Pollution



Climate Change


Academic support

1. Goal setting
2. Planning using SMART – Specific,
Measurable, Actionable, Relevant
and Timely objectives 3. Priority Matrix
4. Personality analysis 5. Math’s
– BODMAS; Algebra
6. Biology – Diversity and
classification of micro-organisms

1. Exam readiness (mind-mapping)
2. Tertiary and bursary applications

Table 2. Shows Breakdown of hours per and activity undertaken from Jan – May 31 2020

Activity (Incl. driving)

Hours per session

No. of sessions

total hours


3,5 hours


28 hours


3 hours


24 hours


6.5 hours


53 hours

Find out more about the GCBR Flexible Micro Fund here

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